Japan Trying to "Rationalize" Economic Retaliation: Moon


Seoul, Aug. 29 (Jiji Press)--South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that Japan is trying to "rationalize" its economic retaliation against South Korea, criticizing Tokyo's recent removal of Seoul from its list of countries with preferential trade status.

"The Japanese government is trying to rationalize its economic retaliation by baselessly shifting its rhetoric as frequently as necessary," Moon said at a cabinet meeting, according to an unofficial translation in English of his remarks released on the website of the Blue House.

"It is clear that the Japanese government has linked historical issues to economic matters," Moon said. He called such an attitude "very disingenuous."

Tensions between the Asian countries over a long-running wartime labor issue have escalated into a tit-for-tat trade conflict, dragging bilateral relations to their lowest point since the two nations normalized their diplomatic ties in 1965.

Moon stressed his country's unwavering stance in the dispute, saying that South Korea will "thoroughly" implement measures so as to minimize damage to its economy and companies and "resolutely" take steps to counter Japan's "unwarranted" economic retaliation.

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